Austin ISD Social Studies Weekly

February 5-11, 2017

Austin ISD Social Studies

Check out the Social Studies website for curriculum, resources, and announcements!

Bill of Rights Institute: The First Hundred Days

In early 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the American people that his administration would act to solve the economic crisis of the Great Depression that gripped the nation. Roosevelt proposed a "New Deal"-a sweeping agenda of legislation that made its way through Congress to his desk. As a result, Roosevelt created the precedent for the modern presidency that his successors would seek to achieve their most important goals in the "first hundred days." This lesson will explore the impact of "first hundred days" on the presidency and constitutional system.

TAH.org: The American Founding

Date: March 3, 2017

Time: 8:30-3:30

Location: Region 13


This seminar will examine the principles of the American Revolution and how they came to define the structure of the American Constitution for the Founding generation.

Discussion Leader: Dr. Jeremy Bailey, Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston


Registration is free. AISD Social Studies will cover your sub costs for this day. Register for this PD here.


Topics of Discussion

Session 1: “The Foundation of Government”

Session 2: “Securing Rights”

Session 3: “Constitutional Change”


You can access the readings for these sessions here.

Literacy Tip of the Week: Previewing Text

When students have opportunities to engage in pre-reading strategies, a purpose for reading is established which creates a need to read. Accomplished readers generally engage in pre-reading strategies, but struggling readers need to learn how to use pre-reading strategies.


One type of pre-reading strategy is Previewing Text. Students can preview text in a variety of ways, but this tip will focus on one specific preview strategy:



  • Word Detectives: Students work with a partner to select 5-10 words from the reading that they believe give the best “clues” to what is important in the reading. Students will write down the words (on a notecard, in their notebooks, in the margin), and when directed, share these words with another pair, their table group, or the whole class. After students have had an opportunity to read the text, they can then review their words and discuss with their partner which words on their list were accurate "clues."



Challenge: Plan when you will use this strategy in the next three weeks and email Melanie to come out and observe the strategy in action!

2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest

Facing History and Ourselves is thrilled to announce the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest. Inspired by a powerful quote from the late Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, this year's essay prompt asks students to reflect on what story, book, or person has influenced their thinking about ethical decision making.

With the generous support of Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project, Facing History is excited to offer more than $25,000 in scholarships and awards to students and their educators. View the full prize structure.


Looking for ways to bring this contest to your classroom? Explore these ready-to-use lesson plans that will help you engage your students with the prompt and get them ready to write.


Timeline: The contest will open for submissions on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m. EST until Wednesday, March 15 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Finalists will be announced on or about Wednesday, April 12. Public voting to help select the winners will open the same day, running until Friday, April 21. Winners will be announced in the beginning of May.

The Prompt: Here is a handout with the essay prompt to distribute to students or colleagues.

Eligibility: Students must be at least 13 years old and reside in the United States, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), or the United Kingdom to participate. Please note that slightly different rules apply for participants in the UK; the UK rules can be found below the US and Canada rules in the official contest rules. Read the official contest rules and FAQs for more information.

Questions? Contact contest@facinghistory.org.

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Austin ISD Secondary Social Studies

High School Specialist - Melanie Kirchhof


If you have any questions or comments, please contact me by one of the means below.


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